Master Bath Reno #6 or Cabinets from Hell

1 cabinet startWe’re still in the bathroom – and I’m just about to embark on another freestyle design project – making a couple of closet cabinets. The theory is that these will flank the sit down vanity – so here’s how the design process works. First you need a couple of sticks – see above. This gives me the general space requirements.

2 the mock upThen we tinker with the actual construction details. Each of these pieces was carefully selected to represent some element of the cabinet. Pretty obvious, but I wanted to clarify to any newcomers to the Misadventures project.

OK, we’ve got the design, lets cut some wood!

3 side panelThe cabinets are going into the sloped part of the room, so I cut a cardboard template to get the proper angle and then cut all the sides from 3/4″ birch faced cabinet plywood. Here I’m set up to route the dadoes for the shelf.

4 first cabinetGetting ready for mistake #1 I put this together downstairs in the sunroom. Nice and light filled space – great for building things. But now I gotta drag it up to the second floor. Let’s see –  it’s got a full sheet of 3/4 plywood and add several more pounds for the 1/2″ plywood back. 2X4 base – that equals – something pretty heavy. So I put it on a moving blanket and drug it up the stairs by myself. Yikes!

8 shelved miscutOh, I forgot to mention that I cut the main shelves for both cabinets 1/4″ too short, so I had to add a 1/8″ Masonite ‘cap’ on each end of the shelf. I’m having a bad day at the table saw.

5 first installedHere’s number 1 in place and a lot of work was required to get it to this spot – besides dragging it up the stairs.

6 cabinet problemsBecause when I tried to put it in place – it was too tall. I thought about cutting off that pointy thing, but I might need it later.

7 base cutSo I cut the 2X4 base in two. I put the base on with screws – which I normally do – but for some reason I also glued it, really, really well. So out with the skill saw. Cut the base, slide the cabinet in place and put the cut pieces back together. A real PITA.

10 both in placeThe second one was built upstairs, the unglued base was unscrewed and the cabinet slid in and the base was reattached. Simple.

11 shim holderThe cases need to be spaced away from the wall to allow for the face frames to be added. I use a piece of shim stock attached at a 90 degree angle to hold the shim in place.

12 shim instalSlide the shim in over the guide and start your screws – remove the guide and tighten to the wall.

So the cabinets from hell are in place – let’s hope that’s the worst of it….

We’ll see.





6 thoughts on “Master Bath Reno #6 or Cabinets from Hell

  1. A great lesson on learning from your mistakes. I can live and learn, unfortunately I can’t learn and retain. Next time I do a similar project I can remember that something went wrong but not exactly what it was. I’m carefully noting your bathroom progress as we have 2 to fit out, hopefully with a lot of DIY. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

    • Thanks Jo – at least I know I’m not alone. Just when I get good at something the project is over. I never seem to retain that skill, so if I have to do a similar project the learning curve is still steep. Your place is looking so good!

    • Thanks, Cindy! I tell myself this place won’t end up like a hot mess – but sometimes I wonder. Maybe I should have put some sort of formal design together before I started this project – but then, what would I have done for the last couple of years?

  2. Wow. These are going to be really impressive cabinets. We’re also having to work with some sloping ceilings. I may want to import you over to Africa for a bit…

    • Hey there! Well, we’ll see what becomes of my slopey cabinets. One day when I’m finished I’ll be free to travel. I always wanted to go to Africa one day…

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